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History
March 18, 2022

Celebrating 170 years of history-making women

From doctors and advocates to some of the most powerful women in financing, we’re applauding the many firsts since Henry Wells and William G. Fargo launched their innovative start-up in 1852.

a photo of a woman is next to the words
A photo is next to the words
A photo is next to the words
An image of a woman is next to the words
An image of a pamphlet is next to the words
A picture of a woman is next to the words
A photo of a woman is next to the words
A pic of a woman is next to the words
A photo of a woman is next to the words
An image of a woman is next to the words
A collage image of 6 women is next to the words

From 1884 to 1908, Cassie Hill kept her frontier town of Roseville, California, connected as a Wells Fargo express agent, a Southern Pacific Railroad agent, and the town’s telegraph operator.

When Florence Scott graduated in 1896, she couldn’t vote, but she could practice medicine. And so she did, becoming Wells Fargo’s first company doctor.

Mary Roebling wasn’t even allowed to attend college during the day. Then in 1937, she became the first woman president of a major U.S. bank – at age 31.

During World War II, Betty Wall joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots program after a loan from her bank helped her learn how to fly.

In the 1950s, Daughters of Bilitis were able to create the first national safe community for lesbian women, with support and empathy from Wells Fargo.

In 1967, Shirley Nelson made history when she became the first woman Wells Fargo branch manager, paving the way for other women.

In the late 1960s, Birtan Aka Collier became the first woman banking officer to represent a U.S. bank overseas, working in Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Rocket scientist Reatha Clark King was the first African American woman to serve on a Wells Fargo board in the 1970s.

HBCU Tennessee State University’s first woman student government president, Gigi Dixon, is now a leader in Wells Fargo’s Diverse Segments, Representation & Inclusion group.

In 1996, banking executive Terri Dial pledged Wells Fargo to lend $1 billion to women business owners, spearheading the first program of its kind at any bank.

In 2021, Mary Mack and Kara McShane made American Banker Most Powerful Women in Finance list, while Ellen Patterson and Kristy Fercho were named to the 2021 Women to Watch list.
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